22nd May 2018
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Drink-driving woman crashed car at Dale

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A drink driver crashed her car in the middle of the night, causing the vehicle to slip 10 metres down a steep embankment.

Such was the force of the crash that the engine of Dawn Smith’s car fell out and was left lying by the side of the road. It was only the sight of debris on the road at Frakkafield, Dale, that caused a passer-by to alert the police.

Smith, 22, of Adies Buildings in Scalloway appeared unconscious when officers arrived on the scene. She failed the roadside screening test and was arrested.

Smith was then taken to hospital. But shortly afterwards she signed herself out and was taken to the police station.
At Lerwick Sheriff Court yesterday, Smith admitted driving with 63 microgrammes of alcohol in her breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes.

The court heard the alarm may not have been raised had the engine not shaken free of its mounts and fallen out of the car.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said: “Police were made aware at about five past three in the morning by a motorist there was debris on the road consistent with a car having crashed.

“Police attended and found a large amount of debris, and there was an entire engine lying on the road.”

Mr MacKenzie  said a search was carried out, which revealed the car 10 metres down an embankment “completely out of view”.

“She was in the driver’s seat at that stage and appeared to be unconscious, but regained consciousness very shortly afterwards when police attended to her.”

Defence agent Tommy Allan said Smith was “extremely lucky” to be able to attend court. “I drove past the engine block and couldn’t believe that it was there.”

Mr Allan said Smith’s understanding of the incident was that the engine had dropped out when the car hit and went over a crash barrier.

Mr Allan said Smith had very little recollection of the incident. “Her first memory is coming to in the car, with police in attendance. She can’t give any explanation as to why she was driving and what her intentions were.”

Sheriff Philip Mann banned Smith for one year and fined her £400. “This case amply demonstrates the dangers of driving with excess alcohol,” he warned her.

“You just need to open the papers on any given day to see what can happen. It is extremely fortunate you weren’t seriously injured, or worse, as a result of consuming alcohol and then driving.”

Smith can reduce her period of disqualification by three months if she successfully completes a drink drivers’ rehabilitation course.